Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Hooray for yoga: Classes growing

Approach appeals to parents looking to relieve kids' stress

By Nancy Young
Enquirer contributor

Certified yoga instructor Sue Ellen Eatrides leads a group of toddlers ranging in age from 2-5 years in their yoga class at the Cincinnati Sports Club in Fairfax.
(Michael Snyder photo)
| ZOOM |
BLUE ASH - Yoga, the ancient Indian meditation and exercise practice, has a growing number of young devotees in Greater Cincinnati.

Parents looking for ways to ease stress for over-scheduled, peer-pressured children are finding that yoga classes tailored for kids and teenagers are a good fit. The Cincinnati Sports Club in Fairfax, Blue Ash Recreation Center and the East Butler YMCA offer classes.

"Our schedule of children's activities has traditionally been more craft-based," says Susan Trammel of the Blue Ash Recreation Center. "What have proven very popular are fitness-based classes that offer emotional benefits - classes including yoga, tai chi and Pilates. Recently, parents - mothers in particular - have asked us to expand the program to include things their children can participate in."

The center is offering a fall schedule of yoga classes for kids, divided into three age groups. The 3- to 5-year-old classes are filling up quickly, with classes for 6- to 12-year-olds and 13- to 17-year-olds catching on a little more slowly.

Veteran instructor Sue Ellen Eatrides will teach the classes. She also teaches at the Cincinnati Sports Club.

"States like California have been active in offering children's yoga for years and we thought there was a market for it here," said Missy Kucia of the Cincinnati Sports Club.

"Many times, children find they aren't interested in organized sports, but they do need some form of exercise and relaxation. Yoga is a way to achieve both goals," she said.

At age 3, Stephanie Frey,of Terrace Park, attends yoga classes at Cincinnati Sports Club.

"Stephanie loves the classes," said her mother, Caroline Frey. "It has helped ... with her listening and social skills. She is learning to take turns with the other children. ... Any time you can put a child her age in a setting with an instructor or teacher it is going to be beneficial."

Why yoga?

Yoga offers many physical and emotional benefits, including:

• Decreased pulse, blood pressure and respiratory rates

• Improved circulation, digestion, posture and sleep

• Improved balance, eye-hand coordination, flexibility, depth perception, dexterity

• Increased endurance, immunity and energy levels

• Increased self acceptance and social adjustment

• Decreased anxiety, depression, stress and hostility


Marianne Woods Cirone, certified yoga teacher

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